The Bible is a road map . . . and it’s not nearly as confusing as MapQuest.

Where do you go when you need answers? Do you ask your friends? Do you ask your parents? Do you Google your question and see what the internet forums have to say? Do you look to see if Dr. Oz or Dr. Phil or Oprah has a new book out that will explain the meaning of life?

As Christians, there’s only one place we need to go to get the answers we need to live life.

Today’s verse is 2 Timothy 3:16-17.

16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 17 God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.

From a young age, I learned how important than verse is. No other “religious” texts claim anything like this. This verse identifies all Scripture as being breathed to live by God Himself, though the writers He chose, and it specifies where we are supposed to look for direction when we’re feeling lost.

The Bible has often been compared to a road map. It contains all the information we need to get through each day. The difficulty is, you have to read it before it will make a difference. And for some reason, so many Christians have bought into the lie that the Bible is confusing.

Kind of like people bought into the lie that the Constitution is confusing. It’s not. Granted, the language the Constitution was written in is old but if you care enough about it, you can understand it.

The Bible is exceedingly more important than the Constitution and it’s even been translated into modern languages like the New International Version (NIV) and the New Living Translation (NLT) . . . and if those aren’t simple enough, there are even fantastic paraphrases like The Message. And though paraphrases aren’t good for intense Bible study, they’re great if you’re looking to understand the main concept behind a passage.

For example, 2 Timothy 3:16-17 in The Message begins in verse 14 because that’s where the main concept of the passage begins:

14-17But don’t let it faze you. Stick with what you learned and believed, sure of the integrity of your teachers—why, you took in the sacred Scriptures with your mother’s milk! There’s nothing like the written Word of God for showing you the way to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another—showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way. Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us.

It’s not hard to understand. And it’s not difficult to read.

But it is painful sometimes.

The only difficult part about reading Scripture is having our mistakes and our sins exposed to us. But we need to remember that everyone who reads Scripture will feel the same way and that’s the reason God gave it to us. Read today’s verse again!

 16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 17 God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.

It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.

That is why we have Scripture. It not only points us in the right direction and warns us about pitfalls and dangers in our path, it also shows us the errors and the rebellion and the mistakes we’ve made and demonstrates what it means to live a godly life.

And on top of all that, Scripture explains why we don’t have to worry. We don’t have to pay for our sins, remember? We do need to turn from them and recognize that they aren’t helpnig us. But once we get to that point and believe that Christ paid the penalty for us and accept that free gift of salvation, we don’t ever have to be afraid of judgment.

John 3:16 is probably the most famous verse in the Bible but usually people stop there, but read all the way to verse 21. Here it is in the Message:

16-18“This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.

 19-21“This is the crisis we’re in: God-light streamed into the world, but men and women everywhere ran for the darkness. They went for the darkness because they were not really interested in pleasing God. Everyone who makes a practice of doing evil, addicted to denial and illusion, hates God-light and won’t come near it, fearing a painful exposure. But anyone working and living in truth and reality welcomes God-light so the work can be seen for the God-work it is.”

God intended for us to be alive today, in this very moment, becuase He has a purpose for us. And even though life is hard sometimes and confusing and twisted up and painful, there’s only one place we need to go when we need answers. It’s not our friends or our family or the talking heads on television. It’s the Bible.

It’s not hard to understand. God gave it to us so that we could know for sure what we needed to do every day of our lives. We just have to be humble enough to accept what Scripture says and apply it to our actions. Otherwise, what’s the point?

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